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CNN
Nov 20, 2012 7:00pm PST
. despite talk of cease-fire, it appears that the guns are still firing. >> cnn's ben wedeman during a live report. we rushed to the scene of the blast moments later. i'm told this house, this villa, belongs to a very wealthy man who is a member of fatah, who is not here. a wealthy banker and some local people here believe maybe somebody else was living in the house or maybe hamas had taken over the house and that's why it was a target. a number of ambulances have arrived on the scene. not clear if there was anybody inside the house at the time. earlier on the streets of gaza, we witnessed this. a number of men on motorcycles dragging what is clearly the body of a dead man. they were yelling god is great and claiming the man was a collaborator with israel. also on the streets of gaza city, israeli forces dropped leaflets telling residents to flee the area. again, leaflets dropped over gaza city, warning them to stay stay away from installations where hamas is. this is typical of the leaflets, telling people to move away from anyplace they see hamas members. not an easy order to follow,
CNN
Nov 19, 2012 5:00pm PST
, also here with ben wedeman and arwa damon. arwa, yesterday you were at the scene of what was the most controversial attack, a strike on what israeli forces said was a building owned by a hamas official, commander of an artillery unit. they say initially he had been killed, then stepped back from that. at least nine members of a family were killed. what was the scene like? >> it was very intense. there was a lot of anger, there was a lot of frustration and there was also a certain sense of resignation. people here have been through this before and they fully expect to have to go through it once again. people were frantically digging through the rubble, some of them even using their bare hands, screaming for shovels, for anything they could possibly find. they were hoping to find survivors but of course, we now know that was not the case. >> we have some of your report. let's play that. >> reporter: the large slab of concrete and mangled metal finally gives way. buried beneath it, another lifeless body. it's the second child we've seen. there was also a baby. others in the neighbor
CNN
Nov 22, 2012 1:00am PST
honking, people whistling, cheering. >> over to gaza city. ben wedeman is there along with cnn's arwa damon reporting. ben, i assume it's quieted down. it's now just a little past 3:00 a.m. there. let's move this story forward. what happens now? >> reporter: well, really, the next sort of 24 hours is critical. we can still hear the drones overhead. the israeli troops are still on the borders of gaza. if the cease-fire holds, if there are not major violations and the israeli military has expressed the realization that there may be some violations, but if nothing major occurs, then they will be able to start actually talking about some of the details that were laid out in the agreement that was worked out between hamas and israel with the help of the egyptians. things like opening the crossings,'s of travel restrictions. certainly hamas is going to welcome the fact that they will no longer be moving targets whenever they step outside their houses here in gaza. so it's really, if we can get through a period of relative quiet and peace, then they can start working on something a little mo
CNN
Nov 21, 2012 11:00am PST
. and joining us is ben wedeman in the gaza strip, gaza city. fred, what are you seeing now in ashkelon? >> reporter: >> from ted pleitgen, have the rockets stopped in ashkelon? >> reporter: the rockets, yes, have stopped in ashkelon. it was interesting, because up until about a minute before our broadcast began, there were still booms that were heard in the sky. and about ten minutes ago we had to run for cover in ashkelon. now it appears as though things are quiet. i can tell you from speaking to people here on the ground, they're telling us this he don't really believe in this cease-fire just yet at this point in time. folks that we're speaking to at this cafe who have been watching the speech of prime minister benjamin netanyahu say they believe this is not a solution to the problem that they are going to be having to face rockets falling on their heads very soon again, anderson. >> i'm also joined here in jerusalem with cnn's wolf blitzer. we'll be monitoring developments over this crucial next hour. this next hour really key to what happens for the next 24 to 48 hours. be
CNN
Nov 20, 2012 11:00am PST
the details of what could be a possible and imminent time-out. ben wedeman is live for us in gaza city. and, ben, what are you hearing from both sides as to whether this time-out, this quiet period will actually happen? >> reporter: well, that certainly seems to be what's on the plans, on the drawing board, this would be an experimental period where they have 24 hours to try to see if the cease-fire holds. now, we're getting conflicting messages. i spoke to one senior hamas official who said that at 9:00 p.m. cairo time, 10:00 p.m. eastern standard time, that there would be an announcement in cairo, by an official, from the egyptian government and from hamas, announcing some sort of agreement for at least a temporary cease-fire. however, we're hearing from other hamas officials that israel has yet to agree to this proposed cease-fire and the israelis are saying there is nothing as of yet. but the idea is rather than send out broad guidelines for a period of peace and calm, they just want to see if both sides can keep the peace. now, one of the concerns here is that it is not just
CNN
Nov 21, 2012 10:00pm PST
city right now, ben wedeman is there, as well as arwa damon. let's move the story forward, what happens now? >> reporter: well, really, the next 24 hours is critical. we can still hear the israeli drones over head. the troops are in gaza. if this cease-fire doesn't hold, the military has expressed their concern thathere may be violations. but if nothing major occurs then they will be able to start actually talk about some of the details that were laid out in the agreement that was worked out between hamas and israel with the help of the egyptians. things like opening of the crossings, easing the traffic restrictions. certainly, hamas will welcome the fact they will be no longer moving targets when they step outside their houses here in gaza. so it is really -- if we can get through a period of relative quiet and peace, then they can start to work on something a little more permanent than just 24 hours of relative quiet. anderson? >> and arwa, i can hear across the skies, the drones we've heard over the last eight or nine days. you have spoke with a lot of people this evening, how did th
CNN
Nov 21, 2012 8:00am PST
, thank you very much. >> thank you. >>> we'll take a quick break. ben wedeman is standing by. stay with us. match that price. that's her "huge savings" face. yeah. don't worry, i get it all the time. [ male announcer ] we guarantee our low prices. even our black friday prices are backed by ad match. the first and only place to go this black friday. walmart. [ male announcer ] the rhythm of life. [ whistle blowing ] where do you hear that beat? campbell's healthy request soup lets you hear it... in your heart. [ basketball bouncing ] heart healthy. great taste. mmm... [ male announcer ] sounds good. it's amazing what soup can do. of green giant vegetables it's easy to eat like a giant... ♪ and feel like a green giant. ♪ ho ho ho ♪ green giant ho ho ho oh, let me guess --ou see this? more washington gridlock. no, it's worse -- look, our taxes are about to go up. not the taxes on our dividends though, right? that's a big part of our retirement. oh, no, it's dividends, too. the rate on our dividends would more than double. but we depend on our dividends to help pay our bills. we worke
CNN
Nov 18, 2012 2:30pm EST
start to eclipse war. gary? >> ben wedeman, thank you for joining us on the program. ben wedeman reporting from the gaza strip. >>> now let's go near the southern border of gaza. what's happening on the southern border and how active have the iron dome missiles been? >> reporter: well, the iron dome missile system has really played a prominent role here, but generally around the whole area around gaza today. i was actually at one of the iron dome missile batteries near there and it was in operation the entire time. there was a lot of rockets being fired off. really the whole day there have been rocket alarms from rockets being fired from gaza into israeli territory. i know one specific time we got a rocket siren alert and we hit the deck. i would say about eight or nine rockets coming out of gaza were intercepted by this iron dome system about 200 yards over us. one rocket was not intercepted and came through and landed about 200 yards from where we were. this thing is definitely very efficient, from what we could see, but it's also not a 100% solution, so the israelis acknowledge that as
CNN
Nov 21, 2012 2:00am PST
ashkelon, ben wedemans in gaza city. ben wedeman, good morning, set the scene for me. >> reporter: yes, brooke, it was a noisezy night and we saw intense bombardment just behind where i'm standing. that was proceeded by increasing sort of mounting reports that a cease-fire was about to be announced or a period of calm. but it appears that there were problems within the israeli government that prime minister benjamin netanyahu and his foreign minister lieberman didn't see eye to eye with the defense minister who was leaning towards accepting this draft proposal sent by hamas via the egyptian government. so once it was clear that those efforts had sort of run into a brick wall, we saw an intensification of israeli air strikes and of course rocket fire out of gaza as well. one of the rockets, rather, one of the air strikes hit very close to the hotel where many journalists are staying right on the coast right next to the gaza city beach. now most recently within the last hour the house of a senior adviser to hamas, prime minister ishmael hamiya was hit and killed. as you mentioned, the de
CNN
Nov 16, 2012 11:00am PST
24, 36 hours more rockets, launched at us, i think that would be the trigger. >> ben wedeman joins me now from the israel/gaza border. what are you seeing and hearing there now? >> reporter: it is a bit surreal here. we're in the city's marina right next to the yoko sushi restaurant. as you can see, there are people out, having dinner. seemingly to be living a normal life. but the owner of this restaurant did tell us just an hour ago they heard the air raid sirens and in fact just a moment ago we saw in this screen with israeli television that in bere sheva air raid sirens did go off. all signeds indicate israel is preparing for a ground incursion. some of the roads around gaza on the israeli side have been closed to civilian traffic. the israeli security cabinet apparently is authorized the government to call up as many as 75,000 reservists, possibly to participate in this potential, possible ground incursion into gaza. there have been a lot of armor -- lots of armor, lots of tanks moved down to that area. it is very similar to what we saw, don, just before israel made a ground in
CNN
Nov 16, 2012 5:00am EST
attacks on over 300 terror targets, as they call them. ben wedeman is in jerusalem for us this morning. he's joining us on the tone. ben, israeli troops are mobilizing for a possible ground attack. we were reporting that yesterday. where do things stand right now? >> the latest is that the israeli army has called up 16,000 reservists in possible preparation for a ground offensive. you remember during 2008, 2009 gaza war, israel sort of softened up targets in gaza before actually sending troops inside. so it takes time to mobilize those forces to get them ready. we're hearing that the roads in israel going in the direction of gaza, there are a lot of tanks being moved, other material being moved to the area around the gaza strip. certainly, if you listen to what israeli officials say, they're definitely putting it that ground offensive is if not highly unlikely, a high probability. this is what one said. >> hamas are the enemies of peace, not just the enemies of israel. to peace both internally on the palestinian side and between palestinians and israel. we're targeting that military in
CNN
Nov 19, 2012 11:00am PST
family buried ten members, children among them, following an israeli air strike. ben wedeman spoke to the survivors. what did they say to you? >> reporter: well, you know, deborah, when you go to the funerals you go to the houses there around that house that got hit, there is a mixture of things. in public, there is anger, there is a desire for revenge, there are sort of chants against israel. but privately these people are suffering. they have suffered incredible losses, incredible shock. i was at the cemetery where the members of this family were buried. and there were a lot of people, onlookers, supporters, coming to -- they see it very much within the context of the conflict with israel, but if you waited around afterwards, you saw small groups of people silently praying and crying over the graves, over the loss of loved ones. and people are very upset about what has happened. happened to this family and is happening around gaza city and elsewhere in this strip. but at the same time, people are scared. they're afraid this war could escalate, that israeli forces could come into gaz
CNN
Nov 20, 2012 1:00pm PST
we arrived on a scene of a blast that occurred just a short time ago while our ben wedeman was on the air. our coverage continues from the region with wolf blitzer. wolf. >>> anderson, thanks very much. happening now, no cease fire, no peace. just another day of deadly attacks in gaza and israel. the secretary of state, hillary clinton, she's here in israel right now. she's trying to find some way to broker a deal to stop the fighting. all the while civilians on both sides of the israeli/gaza border live in terror. the next explosion could claim their homes, relatives or their own lives. we'd like to welcome our viewers from the united states and around the world. i'm wolf blitzer reporting from jerusalem. you're in "the situation room." >>> we're coming to you from jerusalem the end of the seventh day of this deadly crisis. it's been two hours since we expected an official of hamas, the militant organization that controls gaza, to come before cameras in egypt and announce a period of calm. but that announcement has not happened. instead, the office of the e jimgs president, moham
CNN
Nov 7, 2012 6:00am EST
ben ready? ben wedeman? all right. let's talk back to the panel, get some more reaction from election night. soledad? >> talk about international reaction. you know, ben wedeman obviously having some audio problems but you heard across the board it seemed like our partners in israel, our partners in the middle east, have all thought that this was not a bad thing. a good thing, president obama's re-election. what's the impact? >> david cameron reaching out very publicly via twitter. the only country that isn't a big obama fan is pakistan. for a number of reasons. i mean, look, this is the kind of -- these are the kind of polls that republicans would use in ads if they had them. >> for foreign policy continuity is really important. >> right, right. stability. >> and we've now had three presidents in a row who've had two terms. we've had an incredible period of stability right now. from eisenhower to reagan we didn't have a single president who was re-elected to a second term. since 1980, with the exception of george h.w. bush all of our presidents have served two terms. it's to
CNN
Nov 18, 2012 5:00am EST
violence. israel's prime minister says hamas can end all this. ben wedeman is watching the conflict play out. >> reporter: we've seen apparent urgent action by the israeli army in this area to get as much material, tanks, armored personnel carriers and troops in the area around gaza in obvious preparation for a potential ground invasion of the gaza strip. but a decision to actually go in has to come from the leadership, from prime minister benjamin netanyahu and from his security cabinet. that has not come yet. on sunday, it's expected that the secretary general of arab league is going to come to gaza with four arab foreign ministers. it may be difficult to launch a ground invasion while just a high-level group is there. we understand that intense contacts are under way between israel and the united states to potentially talk about a cease-fire. i spoke with a senior israeli spokesman who flatly denied reports that some sort of negotiated cease-fire was on the way. at this point, don, it definitely seems that that things are moving in the direction of a ground invasion. many people,
CNN
Nov 16, 2012 4:00am PST
pounding hundreds of terror sites as they call them in gaza with artillery fire. ben wedeman reporting live now from jerusalem. we know, ben, that the israelis have called up 16,000 reservists. what exactly are they going to be doing? >> well, what they'll be doing is heading down into the area around gaza. very similar to what we saw in 2008, 2009, when they had a similar outbreak of violence between the two sides. we also know that there's a lot of heavy armor, lots of tanks being transported to the area around gaza, as well, for a possible ground incursion. but what we saw back in 2008-2009, was that it was several days of fairly intense israeli air strikes that preceded ground invasions. now what we've heard within the last half hour, the air raid sirens went off in tel aviv. there are unconfirmed reports there's the possibility of one or two rockets hitting the area, but it's still the situation is unclear. certainly what we're seeing is that much of israel from tel aviv to the south is on high alert with these missiles coming in. and here in jerusalem, for instance, the police ar
CNN
Nov 21, 2012 6:00am PST
bus explosion yet but word is that hamas has blessed the attacks. we go to ben wedeman for more on that. >> reporter: what we heard from a nearby mosque is an announcement saying that, quote, unquote, lions from the west bank had carried out that attack in tel aviv. there was also the suggestion in that announcement from the mosque that hamas was somehow responsible for that attack. however, the television affiliated with the hamas movement said yes, they did bless that attack but said it was a, quote, unquote, natural reaction to israel's offensive against the gaza strip. so, there has been no claim of responsibility by hamas or by anybody else at this point regarding that attack. now there was some scattered celebratory gunfire in gaza after news of the attack in tel aviv. i'm not aware of anybody handing out candy. it's important to stress that not everybody supports hamas in the gaza strip. and there are many people who are unhappy with the situation, unhappy with hamas' firing rockets into israel. but very unhappy about israel's response. and it's important to keep in mind tha
CNN
Nov 19, 2012 6:00am PST
have a whole lot of patience right now. >> please stand by. we have ben wedeman actually in gaza city. ben, we're continuing to look at this media building in gaza. we're trying to get ben. wolf, bear with me. as we take a look at these live pictures of this smoking building that's been hit twice in the last two days, this houses the gazan press. it's a 24-hour news channel, i guess kind of like cnn. ben wedeman is here. ben, tell us about this particular broadcast center and why israel so badly wants to take it out. >> reporter: this is an office building. it contains in addition to lawyers' offices and others, a television station associated with the hamas movement. what's unclear, however, is what exactly their intention was. the first floor, there's a lawyers office. there's no sign for the television. my understanding, that's a few floors above where this building was hit. this building was hit in the upper floors, its top floor yesterday. very early yesterday. so it's not altogether clear what the target is. i saw the ambulance services brought out one person who was severely bu
CNN
Nov 19, 2012 8:00am PST
hours on targets in gaza. cnn's ben wedeman is monitoring events this hour in gaza city. he joins us from there. ben, we just saw fred pleitgen hit the ground, and i know it's just as tense there in gaza city. what can you tell us about what's happening right now? >> reporter: well, right now it's relatively quiet. we can hear the israeli drones overhead as we hear all day long, but, of course, just a few hours ago, in fact, 2 1/2 hours ago, we heard three large explosions, and this building behind me which you can't see because the electricity is caught off, got hit three times. in that building there are several things. there were the offices of a television station affiliated with the hamas movement. but one of those missiles we saw it sort of a plume of orange fire bursting out from the front from about the second floor, and we rushed to the scene. what we saw is the ambulance personnel were bringing out the body, very charred body, of a man who appeared to be quite life looks like, in other words dead, and he, we're told, may be a member of islamic jihad's military media office.
CNN
Nov 17, 2012 4:00pm PST
border, peace looks like an unlikely prospect. our senior international correspondent, ben wedeman joins us now between the border between israel and gaza. ben, ground war, are we about to witness that? >> reporter: i don't think immediately, don. i think there's still time needed to get the israeli military ready for a ground invasion. keep in mind that gaza is an area just twice the size of washington, d.c., with a population of 1.5 million people. any military force that goes in there has got to contend with the possibility of a lot of civilian casualties and a fair amount of resistance, from hamas fighters. now, what we're seeing here on the border are intense preparations, all night long. we've been watching as big trucks carrying tanks, carrying armored personnel carriers have been going up and down the road. a lot of soldiers in this area. the israeli government has yet to say when or if they would finally make a decision regarding a ground invasion into gaza. and at the same time, as you've mentioned, there are intense efforts underway by the egyptians, among others, to try to he
CNN
Nov 20, 2012 8:00am PST
to exchange serious fire today. ben wedeman is joining us now, he's monitoring all the developments from gaza city. ben, i know there's been some high level arab league visitors to gaza. give us the latest. what's going on? >> reporter: yes, wolf. this was a delegation led by the secretary-general of the arab league. it included the turkish foreign minister, the iraqi, jordanian, and other. this is the highest level delegation that's really ever go come to gaza since hamas took over back in 2007. and we heard, for instance, the secretary-general of the arab league saying their ultimate goal is to end the occupation. so what we're seeing and what several of those ministers told me, the dramatic change compared to four years ago when israel launched operation cast lead is that the arab government, because of pressure from the arab people, are much more actively engaged in trying to resolve this situation, in trying to bring, a, a cease-fire, but they're looking beyond that to some sort of political resolution of this conflict that's been going on for more than 60 years. and, of course
CNN
Nov 20, 2012 4:00pm PST
here. >> all right, our thanks to ben wedeman in gaza city. sara sidner is in jerusalem with the latest on the israeli side of things. sara, the death toll is climbing. the escalation as ben has been reporting, the rockets over the past couple hours. israel, we understood demanded a day of calm, 24 hours of calm before they would sign a peace deal. no announcement of a cease-fire. why didn't it happen? >> reporter: this has been the problem. there has been a lot of talk that they're very, very close. one side says they're 90%, one side says wait a minute, we're not going to agree to your terms. and there has been sort of some kind of optimism, sometimes from the civilians hoping that yeah, something will happen so this all stops, and then it all falls apart. so it's one of those situations where you really have to wait until the deal is done and then make sure the teal sticks. so there is no more rockets coming over on to the israel side, no more air strikes happening inside gaza. then people will start to believe that this is actually going to happen and there's some kind of tru
CNN
Nov 17, 2012 3:00pm PST
invaded gaza, 13 israelis were killed while 1400 palestinians died. ben wedeman joins me. does it look like we're about to witness a ground war here? >> well, it certainly looks like preparations are being made for it. we have seen a lot of heavy armor going by on the road right next to us, tanks, armors personnel carriers all evening long. there's a lot of soldiers in the area, so obviously the israeli military is gearing up for a ground incursion. just heard a very loud explosion. i guess you heard that, too. more over there. so yes, definitely, that's the case. but obviously, don, they have to wait for the political leadership to make a final decision. and while all the preparations for a possible ground invasion are going ahead, there are also diplomatic wheels spinning. tomorrow, the secretary-general of the arab league and four arab foreign ministers are going to go into gaza to check the situation out. we know there are intense contacts going on between egypt, israel, the united states, and others powers to try to head off a possible ground invasion because as everyone here
CNN
Nov 17, 2012 7:00pm PST
violence. israel's prime minister says hamas can end all this. bd ben wedeman is watching the conflict play out. >> reporter: we've seen apparent urgent action by the israeli army in this area to get as much material, tanks, armoured personnel carriers and troops in the area around gaza in obvious preparation for a potential ground invasion of the gaza strip. but a decision to actually go in has to come from the leadership, from prime minister benjamin netanyahu and from his security cabinet. that has not come yet. on sunday, it's expected that the secretary general of arab league is going to come to gaza with four arab foreign ministers. it may be difficult to launch a ground invasion while just a high-level group is there. we understand that intense contacts are under way between israel and the united states to potentially talk about a cease-fire. i spoke with a senior israeli spokesman who flatly denied reports that some sort of negotiated cease-fire was on the way. at this point, don, it definitely seems that that things are moving in the direction of a ground invasion. ma
CNN
Nov 24, 2012 3:00pm PST
ducking. we saw ben wedeman, arwa damon, sara sidner. they were close to you, these bombs. >> very close. we were standing in front of an open window like this and you could feel the shock waves through your body sometimes. the windows would rattle, the building itself would shake. and we're talking, you know, a block away, two, three, four, five blocks away. and it's startling. ben wedeman is made of sturdier stuff than i and was able to stand there without ducking as i did did. but it really brings home to you what it's like for gazans. >> can only imagine the terror these people are feeling. >> right. and they have nowhere else to go. i'm able to leave. there for three nights, able to leave and back here now. they don't have any other place to go. >> when you got out, you got out through a crossing into israel. >> right, a very laborious process. >> tell us about that. because it's very restricted. >> yeah, it is. you give them -- the hamas official your passport, he writes it down in a little spiral notebook, that's about it, no stamp or anything. you take a series of taxis to the bo
CNN
Nov 17, 2012 10:00pm EST
will win out. don? >> ben wedeman, thank you very much. people of gaza know how the last four ended four years ago with 1,400 palestinians dead. that's why so many are fearful of the activity on their border. cnn's sara sidner covering the conflict from inside gaza. >> reporter: today we've been hearing a chorus of drones overhead and a symphony of air strikes. also seeing plenty of rocket fire coming out of gaza towards israel. we witnessed several times -- several rockets at a time heading over towards israel. right now, we're hearing the sounds of planes. that usually only means one thing, that there will be air strikes that follow. and it's this time of night and into the wee hours of the morning that usually things get very, very intense with lots of blasts of air strikes. but also we know that there have been some blasts coming from the israeli ships in the sea. we ourselves experienced some of the loud booms and bangs that were coming from the sea. we were right on the water there. so a lot of concern. the civilians are not in the streets. most people have hunkered down in th
CNN
Nov 19, 2012 2:00am PST
the conflict this morning? >> well, our ben wedeman went down to the funeral for the members of that family you just saw in that story, and while he was at the funeral they heard two loud roars across the street, a third outgoing rocket they saw going overhead, and mourners were chanting revenge, revenge. so far, the israeli defense forces are saying that over 560 rockets have been fired from gaza into israel since the conflict began and the israelis have struck approximately 1,350 targets in gaza. so certainly at this point in time seems to be an escalating conflict and finding any sort of cease-fire will have all sorts of diplomatic efforts under way. but so far none of them successful. >> cnn's anderson cooper is in the middle east to cover the escalating conflict between israel and hamas. and during a live report from gaza city last night, anderson got to experience firsthand what the palestinians have been coping with for the last six days. >> also two media centers. whoa. that was a rather large explosion. that occurred -- just look out here. i can't actually see where the impa
CNN
Nov 21, 2012 1:00pm PST
. let's go to ben wedeman. he's on the scene for us. ben, what's it like there? we know we heard a lot of celebratory gunfire, a lot of people on the streets. >> reporter: yeah. a huge celebration. i've never seen such a large celebration in gaza. really it sort of gradually grew. at first it appears people were waiting to make sure that the cease-fire did in fact hold for a little while. and then we started hearing a bit of gunfire and then seen more cars in the street. and of course now it's been going on for quite some time. many of them they're more sort of up the road toward the center of the city, celebratory gunfire very much a feeling here on the streets of gaza that they did indeed emerge victorious from these eight days of bombardment coming both ways, wolf. >> i said celebratory gunfire on the streets of israel but it's gaza. they want to allow people to come in, palestinians to leave, are we likely to see any of that in the immediate future as a result of this cease-fire agreement, ben? >> reporter: well, looking at the agreement it appears that those details, the opening o
CNN
Nov 16, 2012 7:00pm PST
, who is going to stop and when, anderson? >> sara, stand by. i want to bring in ben wedeman, who has experience in the region. tonight he is in the israeli town of ashkelon, that has been hit repeatedly by rocket fire, and also the jerusalem bureau chief for "the new york times" is in gaza city and joins us by phone. what are you seeing and what are you hearing? >> reporter: what we are seeing here is that the town is pretty much deserted, not a lot of people out and about although earlier we were next to a sushi restaurant where there were a fair amount of customers. we spoke to the mayor who talked about the difficulties of trying to manage a town of more than 100,000 people living under these conditions and we spoke to one resident here who interestingly enough said he was happy that rockets were fired from gaza into near jerusalem and tel aviv. he said finally. other israelis outside of this area around gaza are getting a feel, getting a taste of what it's like to live under the threat of rockets. so certainly here in ashkelon, you have real frustration that they simply cannot li
CNN
Nov 20, 2012 11:00pm PST
are more explosions in gaza city. huge plumes of smoke going up, anderson, as you see there, ben wedeman, arwa damon all there describing it as an escalation they have seen. these are the largest blasts they have seen in the last couple days and the attacks come hours before secretary clinton is scheduled to travel to ramala to meet with president mahmoud abbas. when that meeting is done, she goes to egypt to meet with the man at the center, mohamed morsi. two men who shaped foreign policy, jamie reuben, director of public affairs and nick burns, political affairs and ambassador to nato. the two perfect people to answer the question. jamie, let me ask you, what kind of leverage does secretary of state hillary clinton have and what does it mean that the united states decided to have her get involved in this now when egypt was, you know, supposedly going to be the one able to broker a deal? >> well, i think they probably felt that the involvement of the united states was the only player that could talk to the israelis in a unique way. none of the other players involved, egypt, turk
CNN
Nov 19, 2012 4:00pm PST
targeted 1,300 sites in gaza since last wednesday ch ben wedeman is in gaza city tonight. how are civilians dealing with this conflict? the numbers are frightening. >> reporter: they're not dealing very well with it. it's a very difficult situation. you have to keep in mind, erin, that here in gaza, they don't have early warning systems. they don't have bomb shelters. they don't have an iron dome system to protect them. so, they feel very exposed. don't see a lot of people out in the street. when they do go out, they do it so very quickly. they get supplies. and really, they're just watching the television. listening to the news. awaiting to see if israel is going to go ahead with its ground incursion because as difficult as the situation is now, it will become much, much worse if israeli forces enter. probably much higher civilian casualties. as we saw four years ago, there was a heavy death toll. almost a rather more than 1,400 killed, so there's a lot of trepidation about what could be just around the corner. >> and ben, i know right before you literally came on the air with us
CNN
Nov 21, 2012 12:00am PST
, and anderson cooper and ben wedeman, both in gaza city. wolf, let me start with you if i may. a very tense day with claim and counterclaim coming almost on an hourly basis. there was going to be a cease-fire, then no cease-fire. both sides trading sort of insults and then offering fig leaves. what do you make of it all? as we talk now in the middle of a night there, what do you make of where we really are with this? >> well, throughout most of the day, i thought they were very close to reaching a cease-fire agreement. all the signs looked rather positive. then all of a sudden, on this day, it was getting increasingly more tense in the southern part of israel and what we've been seeing in gaza, very, very bloody as well. you wouldn't know that they are apparently rather close to some sort of a deal, that the egyptian government, the new president, mohammed morsi, seemed to be brokering. they may still get some sort of cease-fire agreement. it looks very tenuous to me right now but you know, sometimes just before, having covered cease-fires in the past, just before the agreement i
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